We set out to create a hack that would encourage healthy lifestyles and physical activity. The internet is great tool for learning but often times it serves as more of a distraction than a useful tool. We believe that by rewarding people for their hard work, we can create a more well-rounded mindset in regards to the internet. In the end our product aims to make people more aware of their level of physical activity and their browsing habits amidst their busy days.
How it works
We combined a chrome extension with a pebble and an android app, in order to realize our hack. Through Google's "Google Fit," we were able to obtain a measurement of how active someone is using Google's built-in pedometer and other Google Fit tools.
With the Pebble we took a different approach and instead looked at their Geo-locative capabilities. Although the Pebble is sparse in sensors we believed that this would be apt for hikers, or people who simply want to stroll around their town. By periodically tracking GPS coordinates and calculating distance traveled between the points, we were able to come up with what we believe is a good exchange rate between physical activity and internet activity.
We then combined these two different ways to track physical activity with a Chrome Extension that limits the time spent on the internet.
For every 300 (can be changed) feet walked, a user receives five or so minutes of internet time. This exchange rate is easily customizable for people's individual needs. These minutes constitute "free time" during which the user can browse anywhere they like, but as soon as they have consumed all of their free time, the websites go back to being blocked. We believe that this will encourage people to at least stand up and stretch their limbs and discourage users from excessively browsing their facebook feed.
Challenges we ran into
Because of the wide range of hardware and software that we were targeting and the new api's that we were consuming, there always seemed to be a steep learning curve. The Pebble's unique form factor also offered an interesting challenge in terms of design and utilizing said form-factor to the best of our abilities.
Accomplishments that we are proud of
The four of us made it through the night. We learned a lot, and were able to explore outside our programming comfort zones.
What we learned
We learned that a lot can be accomplished in 24hrs but that planning ahead is very important.
What's next for timeOut!
We hope to expand our app to include iOS and other fitness devices. We also hope to fine tune our designs and implement some of the features that we sadly had to leave out.